Creating an Effective Social Media Strategy, Part 3 - Identify Spokespeople, Donít Dilute the Message


Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 2:43pm Thursday 30 July 2009

As with traditional media strategies, you must also determine spokespeople for your social media strategy. You wouldnít pull just any employee to speak to the media and social media should be no different. Despite the informal nature of the conversations on some platforms, the person responding is still a company representative and the image of the company is reflected in those discussions.

Unlike traditional media, social media puts you in direct communication with the public and different company representatives may be better for these audiences. While your traditional media spokesperson may be the CEO, your customers and prospects may be best served by a company representative who deals with more everyday tasks and not the overall company strategy.

As part of your PR strategy, you need to take the information you have gathered from monitoring social media and determine your ideal spokespeople. Identify a spokesperson to respond to corporate questions, customer feedback, support services, sales opportunities and other industry trends. Be sure you spend time training your spokespeople just as you would for traditional media so that they know and can communicate your company message effectively. Be sure to keep the channels of communication open to gauge feedback from your spokespeople. As the business climate changes, there may be opportunities to change your message so that it accurately reflects the needs and concerns of your customers.

Once you determine who will represent the company, come up with a plan to respond that fits the needs of your company. Depending on frequency of requests and availability of resources, you may decide to designate an initial responder who can identify the needs of the situation and route the inquiry to the appropriate person. While it is also an effective strategy to have each designated spokesperson respond individually, be careful, as too many voices in social media can be confusing to your audience and also dilute your message. Whichever strategy you choose, make sure the company message is very clear both externally and internally.